The Angelina College Roadrunners overcame a sluggish first half to take the lead midway through the second, only to see Lamar-Port Arthur's Seahawks pull away late for a 72-67 win Saturday at Shands Gym in Lufkin.
The ‘Runners took their first lead of the game, 48-46, on a Takoby Jackson three pointer with 12:48 remaining. Four ties and five lead changes later, the Seahawks got a pair of free throws from Ahyaro Phillips and a long three from Von Jones to take the lead for good.
AC (14-12, 8-7) got 17 points from Trent Brantley, 16 from Ron Steward – including 4-of-6 from three-point range – and 11 from Jackson. However, the Roadrunners committed a total of 26 turnovers, with 17 of those coming amidst the first-half struggles.
Roman Vaughn led the Seahawks (16-9, 6-8) with 13 points; Jones and Phillips added 11 each.
Over the game's first 15 minutes, the Roadrunners struggled to solve L-PA's trapping and pressing defensive approach, a tactic leading to those 17 first-half AC turnovers. Once the AC guards – Steward, Jackson and Mike Timmins – worked out of the traps and began throwing the ball over the top to big men Brantley and Adrick McKinney, the Roadrunners were able to put together a 12-4 run to close the first-half gap.
In the second half, the largest lead for either team was a mere five points before the Seahawks pulled away in the final two minutes.
AC will travel to Baytown Wednesday night to take on Lee College, with game time set for 7:30 p.m.